In an effort to discourage rote learning,the Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad,is set to change textbooks of standards fourth and seventh from the next academic year.
While the curriculum will remain the same,the new textbooks will help students study on their own thereby reducing their dependence on teachers. The textbooks will focus more on practical components of the subject,group exercises,among other things. The textbooks are part of the National Curriculum Framework 2005 under which the NCERT has taken up a three-phased Textbook Development Programme which aims to cover all standards from the first to the seventh. In Maharashtra,the textbook development programme has been implemented for the first,second,third,fifth and sixth standards.
The intention of the programme undertaken by the NCERT is to make the role of the teacher subsidiary and that of the student prime. Teachers usually rely on exercises at the end of the chapters which are mostly theoretical. The new textbooks will have exercises that will help them find answers on their own and make notes besides encouraging research, said SS Mhaske,senior consultant,Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad.
In order to acquaint teachers with the new textbooks,NCERT is conducting teacher- training programmes. We want teachers to understand and appreciate why the NCERT has come up with this new method. So far the response has been very good, added Mhaske.
Rekha Vijaykar,Principal,Guru Harkishan High School,Santacruz said,The new textbooks are good and our teachers will enjoy teaching. It will encourage more project work and research. But the new system will depend a lot on how teachers perceive the new pattern and make it feasible for the students. While I am convinced that the new textbooks will help students I believe we need to make our textbooks more attractive for our students.